Words of Wisdom

Friday, October 14, 2011

Self-Serving Leaders Vs Servant Leaders

“Am I a servant leader or a self-serving leader?”  It is a question that, when answered with honesty in our heart, will go to the foundation of our intention or motivation as a leader.

One of the quickest ways we can tell the difference between a servant leader and a self-serving leader is how they handle feedback, criticism and comment, because one of the biggest fears that self-serving leaders have is to lose their position.
Self-serving leaders spend most of their time protecting their status. If you give them feedback, how do they usually respond? Negatively. They think your feedback means that you don’t feel like their leadership anymore.

Self-serving leaders who are passionate to influence, recognition and who are afraid of loss of position are not likely to waste any time or effort in training their replacements.

Another way to tell a self-serving from servant leader is how they approach succession planning.
Servant leaders, however look at leadership as an act of service. They hold close and welcome feedback as a source of useful information on how they can provide better service.

The journey of life is to move from a self-serving heart to a serving heart. We finally become an adult when we understand that life is about what you give, rather than what you get. Everyday leaders face hundreds of challenges to their intentions. Our adversary is waiting everyday to get us to be ego-driven, to be self-serving. Every day we must recalibrate our hearts. You’ll never be able to say, “Now I’m a servant leader, and I’m never going to be self-serving. We’re all going to be grabbed off course by our egos.

It’s easy to take for granted that you’re leading to serve your team and or your company when the decisions you make are good for the company.  It’s also very easy to rationalize decisions you make that put both you and your team in a good light as the decisions of a servant leader.

Ask yourself this question: “If you received absolutely no credit for the decision, would you make the same decision in the same way?”

If the answer is ‘yes’, then the decision is most likely a servant-leader one.  If the answer is ‘no’, the decision is most likely a self-serving one.

To successfully combat temptations to be self-serving, we need daily to surrender our motives and actions to Christ as our guide and roll model for how we should lead.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Saturday, August 14, 2010

When You Are Through Changing You Are Through

When You Are Through Changing, You Are Through.

Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.” Denis Waitley

All of us need to understand that change is a process. It is not an event, something that happens once, but rather it is a constant process.

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” Brian Tracy

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

The Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel amassed a fortune by inventing dynamite and other explosives. It described him as a man who had become rich by enabling people to kill each other in unprecedented/extraordinary numbers. Deeply shaken, Nobel resolved to dedicate his fortune toward accomplishments that benefited humanity. Hence, the Nobel Prize.

Challenge Yourself:
  1. What is it in your life that needs changing?
  2. How are you going to begin that process?

Sometimes change is unpleasant, often it is hard, yet almost always it is necessary. Begin the process of change now to become the better person you want to be.

  1. What is it in your business or career that needs to change to make it more profitable?
  2. What is it in your attitude that needs to change to make you more effective?

 “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” Charles R. Swindoll

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Real Meaning Of Empowerment

The Real Meaning Of Empowerment

“Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.” Gillian Anderson

Everyone seems to be talking about empowerment these days as the cure-all for under-achieving organizations and employees. Employers, department heads, and private and government leaders who do not endorse it are considered outdated and damned.

But wait, If  empowerment were the magic potion guaranteeing success, why didn’t we drink it long ago? The answer is – it does not guarantee success. But why? Because both employers and employees must be ready for it. Empowerment will succeed only if there is real readiness and commitment to facing these irritating issues:

Barriers between employees and their supervisors are not dealt with continuously.

“Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” Jim Rohn

“Skill in the art of communication is crucial to a leader's success. He can accomplish nothing unless he can communicate effectively.”

Communication is the key to growth and success. When communication break down, failure is likely. Open communication between people allows a free flow of ideas and thoughts. Everyone is clear on where they stand, and what each person wants and expects from the others. By expressing our thoughts and ideas, we can begin to see the reality of our situation. When we have the freedom to speak our minds, we begin to feel empowered. When there is clarity, proper action can follow.

Employees are rarely asked to recommend solutions.

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it.” Ralph Marston

People thrive when they feel they are respected and appreciated. That is why listening to customers is critical to the success of any business. When employees cab speak up and freely voice their opinions, they feel empowered, even if their ideas are not always implemented.

Want to motivate your staff? Empower your employees—don’t delegate. The result? Increased job performance and company success.

Abilities remain untapped.

“Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk - and to act.” Andre Malraux

Few of us can duplicate the brilliance of Leonardo da Vinci, but each of us can get closer to meeting our potential. The desire to explore possibilities is not limited to geniuses: The keys are persistence, focus, and hard work. Ability is only  potential until it is tapped. As we learn how to best apply our own gifts, we can better see talents in others and how to help them become all they can be.

Employee never initiate action, but wait for orders and directions.

“Initiative is doing the right things without being told” Elbert Hubbard

“You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.” Abraham Lincoln

“Success depends in a very large measure upon individual initiative and exertion, and cannot be achieved except by a dint of hard work.” Anna Pavlova

Most people resist new ways.

Refusal to accept change causes stagnation. When people resist this natural flow of life, they move backwards. Businesses that resist change lose to competitors. To change when needed is the essence of growth.

“When we allow deep-seated habits to control our lives, we work against ourselves.”

Employers spend little time or money on training.

Training is the vehicle for change. Plans and goals without training are useless. To fail to train is to deny the importance of preparation, productivity and profit.

Most people who leave are keepers.

More often than not, people who leave go on to what they believe will be a better opportunity. Most of the time when this happens, these people are valuable now, and would be in the future. The ones we should be most concerned about are the poor performers who will never leave unless pushed out. They are the cause of low productivity, bad morale, and poor customer relationships.

Policy manuals and rulebooks are getting bigger and bigger.

It takes time and energy to read and understand rules and regulations. More rules mean less time that can be devoted to more creative endeavors. More rules also decrease the size of the box we must work within.  People who like to think outside the box must spend more time to reach beyond the imposed limits of rules and regulations. Rules create a “safe” environment because you know exactly what you can and can’t do. The “it’s not my job” syndrome does nothing to empower people or encourage them to explore their potential. More often than not, people hide behind rules and use them as an excuse to explain why something didn’t happen as it should.

People who don’t improve receive the same compensation as those who do.

When people are not paid based on merit and accomplishments, you favor idlers. The best employees then believe you don’t appreciate the difference between them and the problem people. This is the easiest way to squelch initiative. They feel powerless in an environment that does not recognize them. Boredom, frustration, and resentment lead to departure at the first opportunity.

More time is spent talking about bad situations than fixing them.

Some people just like to complain. Complaining is easier than finding a solution because it requires little thought and takes no energy. Improvement always requires initiative and added work. To improve a bad situation, someone must be willing to come foreward, take charge and be a leader. Many people would prefer to sit backstage and criticize others who are attempting to solve problems. Empowered people have the confidence and self-esteem to withstand criticism. Getting the job done is more important to them than being liked.

“Winners measure improvement. Losers hope for miracles.”

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Believe You Can Succeed and You Will

Believe You Can Succeed and You Will

Success is determined not so much by the size of one’s brain as it is by the size of one’s thinking. As Prophet David, who wrote, “As one thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Shakespeare, who observed, “There is nothing either good or bad except that thinking makes it so.”

Belief works this way, Belief, the “I’m-positive-I-can” attitude, generate the power, skill, and energy needed to do. When you believe I-can-do-it, the how-to-do-it develops. And believing you can succeed makes others place confidence in you.

The “Okay-I’ll-give-it-a-try-but-I-don’t-think-it-will-work” attitude produces failures. Belief is the thermostats that regulate what we accomplish in life. Believe in yourself, and good things do start happening.

Positive thoughts, specializes in producing reasons why you can, why you’re qualified, and why you will.

Negative thoughts, expert in developing why you can’t, why you’re weak, why you’re inadequate and its specialty is “why-you-will-fail” chain of thoughts.

These two primary thoughts are strongly obedient and sharp to attention, immediately all you have to do is signal or call.

How to develop the power of Belief.

Think success, don’t think failure

Think, “I’ll win” not “I’ll probably lose”

I’m equal to the best not “I’m outclassed”

I can do it never “I can’t”

Remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are.

Successful people are not superman; success does not require a super intellect, not based on luck. Successful people are just ordinary folks who have developed belief in themselves, and what they do. Never sell yourself short.

Believe Big.

The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements.

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”
George Sheehan

Monday, December 28, 2009

Overcoming Challenges of Life

“Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.”

The first step you need to take is to get a complete picture of whatever challenge you are facing, including the good that will come out of it when properly handled. One example is improved relationships.

“Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”

The second step is to pinpoint the specific challenge area or areas where you need strengthening.

Using the example, let’s say that after careful analysis of all the factors, you look at the following:

  • The seriousness of your efforts to meet and befriend new people and, then, to generate interest in your product, service, or opportunity.
  • The degree of discipline you demonstrated in following up with interested prospects.
  • The leadership ability, or lack of it, you showed in helping those people come on board as associates or clients.
  • Your caring enough about the people you are working with to help them in whatever way they needed assistance and encouragement from there on.

“Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing.”

The third step is to brainstorm about your specific challenge, and write down some solution ideas.

  • Analyze it from both your viewpoint and that of potential prospects’.

  • Analyze it relative to how you are handling the situation and how successful leaders in your industry are handling it.
  • Compare your success at it now with your success at it a year ago, two years ago, or even five years ago. Are you improving? If not, is this maybe one of the reasons you might be stuck in your progress?
  • Take into account all the factors, some of which you need to deal with to reach your goal, that you may have carelessly ignored before now.

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”

The fourth step is to give the analytical half of your brain time to compute the pros and cons of the possible solutions.

Each time your subconscious pops a possible solution into your mind, jot it down and save it. Give your subconscious mind time to analyze the full scope of the situation.

“We choose to go...not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard, because that goal will serve to measure and organize the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

The fifth step is taken one to three days after your brainstorming session.

Analyze your best options, while focusing on win-win solutions. This requires compassion, understanding, humility, and forgiveness so you can heal any broken relationships that may exist.

Using our business expansion challenge as an example, you may have had such responses as:

  • Strengthen your desire by focusing on your dream.
  • Make a list of opportunities to meet new people and schedule them into your planner.

  • Learn to meet new people and make more friends.

  • Explore continuing education opportunities in your industry to better prepare yourself to present what you have to offer in an appropriate, interesting way.

The sixth step and final step is the most obvious one: Choose what you believe is the best win-win solution and get behind it with dedicated, focused effort so you can make it work. Press forward with action, and have confidence in your ability to succeed while striving for an excellent result. But, if you don’t attain it, keep going. At the very least, you learned what doesn’t work and you can begin again, more intelligently, with increased vigor and renewed commitment.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How To Build Confidence and Overcome Fear

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.”

“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.” Og Mandino

Yes, fear is real and we must recognize it exists before we can conquer it. Most fear today is psychological. Worry, tension, embarrassment, panic – all from mismanaged. Fear is success enemy number one. Fear stop people from capitalizing an opportunity, it wears down physical vitality, it make people sick, shorten life, closes your mouth when you want to speak.

Two step procedure to cure fear and win confidence:

  • Isolate your fear. Pin it down. Determine exactly what you are afraid of.
  • Then take action. There is some kind of action for any kind of fear.

Two Ways to put people in proper perspective:

  • The other fellow is important, you are important too. “We’re just two important people sitting down to discuss something of mutual interest and benefit.
  • Develop an understanding attitude.

Remember two short sentences when someone declares war on you. “Underneath he’s probably a very nice guy. Most folks are.” There is within us a desire to be right, think right and act right. When we go against that desire, we put a cancer in our conscience. This cancer grows and grows by eating away at our confidence. Avoid asking yourself “Will I get caught? Will they find out? Will I get away with it?” People who are shy in introducing themselves can replace this timidity with confidence just by taking three simple actions simultaneously. First: reach for other person’s hand and clasp it warmly, Second: look directly at the other person, Third: say I’m very glad to know you. This three will banish shyness. Confidence action produces confident thinking.

Confidence Building Exercise.

  • Be a front seater. Most folks scramble to sit in the back rows so they won’t be “too conspicuous” or lack confidence.
  • Practice making eye contact. Instinctively, you ask yourself questions about fellow who doesn’t look you in the eye. “What’s he trying to hide?, What’s he afraid of?, Is he trying to put something over on me?, Is he holding something back?”, or it may say “I feel weak besides you. I feel inferior to you, I’m afraid of you” or I feel guilty, I’ve done something or I’ve thought something that I don’t want you to know.” Make your eyes work for you. Aim them right at others eyes. It not only gives you confidence, it wins you confidence, too.
  • Walk 25% faster. Throw your shoulders back, lift up your head, move ahead just a little faster, and feel self-confidence grow.
  • Practice Speaking-up. Those who fail to participate thinks to himself: My opinion is probably worthless, If I say something, I’ll probably look foolish, I’ll just say nothing, besides, the others probably know more than I. I don’t want the others to know how ignorant I am. Each time we fail to speak – we take one more dose of confidence poison; we become less and less confidence of ourselves.

On the positive side: The more you speak up, the more you add to your confidence and the easier it to speak up the next time. Speak-up. It’s a confidence building vitamin. Make it a rule to speak up at every open meeting you attend, Speak-up and say something voluntarily at every business conference, committee meeting, community forum you attend. Make no exception. Comment, make a suggestion, ask a question and don’t be the last to speak. Try to be the ice breaker and never worry about looking foolish. You won’t.

  • Smile Big. Try to feel defeated and smile big at the same time. You can’t. A big smile gives you confidence. A big smile beats fear, rolls away worry, defeat despondency. Harness the power of smiling.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Find Others to Believe with You

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be” George Sheehan

Unfortunately, it may be difficult to eliminate all the negative people from your life. Your mother or father, a business associate, a best friend, church brothers/sisters, or even your spouse might be a negative influence. And since many of these people have known you for years, they probably think of you in terms of your past experiences and not in terms of who you are today or a person you can become.

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Sometimes it’s easier to find support from a complete stranger. A stranger doesn’t carry preconceived/predefined ideas about what you can or cannot do. The message at this point is that everyone needs someone to believe in him or her, and those who are closest to you may not be the best people to fill that role. The key is to find someone who does.

Take an inventory of the people in your life. Identify one or two individuals who are supportive and can provide encouragement. In the initial stages of implementing your dream, share it only with supportive people. As your dream takes shape and you become stronger in your belief, you’ll be able to handle the multitude of naysayer who will unavoidably cross your path.

“Negativity works like poison in the bloodstream: if you give into its power, it will weaken your confidence and kill your dream.”

Your goals are simply too important to let that happen!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Get the Action Practice

The test of a successful person is not the ability to eliminate all problems before they arise, but to meet and workout difficulties when do they arise. – Its still good advice to cross bridges as we come to them.

“Every act of will is an act of self-limitation. To desire action is to desire limitation. In that sense, every act is an act of self-sacrifice. When you choose anything, you reject everything else.” G. K. Chesterton

Expect future obstacles and difficulties. Every venture presents risk, problems and uncertainties. (Example: Suppose you wanted to drive your car from Bicol to Baguio, but you insisted on waiting, until you had absolute assurance that there would be no detours, no motor trouble, no bad weather, no drunken drivers, no risk of any kind. When would you start? Never! It makes sense to map your route, check your car, in other ways to eliminate as much risk as possible before you start, but you can’t eliminate all risks.

“Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it's who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.” Anthony Robbins

“I certainly don't regret my experiences because without them, I couldn't imagine who or where I would be today. Life is an amazing gift to those who have overcome great obstacles, and attitude is everything!” Sasha Azevedo “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won” Winston Churchill

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Meet problems and obstacles as they arise. We can’t buy an insurance policy against all problems. Ideas are important. Let’s make no mistake about that. We must have ideas to create and improve anything. Success shuns the man who lacks ideas, but ideas in themselves are not enough. That idea for getting more business, for simplifying work procedures, is of value only when it is acted upon. A good idea if not acted upon produces terrible psychological pain. But a good idea acted upon brings enormous mental satisfaction.

“Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” Anthony Robbins

Use action to cure fear and gain confidence. Here’s something to remember: Action feeds and strengthens confidence, inaction in all forms feeds fear. To fight fear, act. To increase fear – wait, put off, postpone. Action cures fear. “Unless your heart, your soul, and your whole being are behind every decision you make, the words from your mouth will be empty, and each action will be meaningless. Truth and confidence are the roots of happiness.”

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” Peter T. Mcintyre

Start your mental engine – mechanically – When you write a thought on paper, your full attention is automatically focused on that thought. That’s because the mind is not designed to think on thought and write another at the same time. And when you write on paper, you “write” on your mind, too, Test prove, that you remember something much longer and much more exactly if you write the thought on paper.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Now is the magic word for success. Tomorrow, next week, later, sometime, someday, often as not are synonyms for the failure word, never. “It’s easier to spend what’s left over after savings than it is to save what’s left over after spending.” Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” by Benjamin Franklin. Remember, thinking in terms of now gates things accomplished. But thinking in terms of someday or sometime usually means failure.”

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus

Initiative is a special kind of action. It’s doing something worthwhile without being told to do it. The person with initiative has a standing invitation to join the high income brackets in every business and profession.

Developing the initiative habit
Be a crusader. When you see something that you believe ought to be done, pick up the ball and run.

“Determine what specific goal you want to achieve. Then dedicate yourself to its attainment with unswerving singleness of purpose, the trenchant zeal of a crusader.” Paul J. Meyer

Be a volunteer. Each of us has been in situations in which we wanted to volunteer for some activity but didn’t. Why? Because of fear. Not fear that we couldn’t accomplish the task, but rather fear of what our associates would say. The fear of being laughed at, of being called an eager beaver, of being accused of bucking for a raise holds many people back.

“Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.” Gillian Anderson

By all means, volunteer for those special assignments. The fellow who stands on the sidelines, who holds off, who is passive, does not lead, But the doer, the fellow who thinks action finds others want to follow him. People place confidence in the fellow who acts. They naturally assume he knows what he is doing. I’ve never heard anyone complimented and praised because “he doesn’t disturb anyone”, “he doesn’t take action”, or “he waits until he’s told what to do”. Have you?

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